Friday 23rd January 2015

Ho hum the winter doldrums are upon us. It’s cold, it’s damp and it’s horrible! Imagine what life on the farm is like now! Nevertheless the weather can’t stop the work; animals must be fed and looked after, vegetables must be harvested, fields must be prepared, early season arable crops must be planted and so on. The farmers’ work never stops.

And yet, these people continue to be put under pressures from the big buyers to cut their prices to levels below costs. When you see cheap food you can be sure the part of the supply chain paying the cost is the farmer, not the big superstore. Originally, back in 1997, that is what made the farmers’ market idea so appealing to farmers. Here was an opportunity to sell their produce at a price that allowed them to run sustainable businesses. It was particularly beneficial for those small family farms that would otherwise have faced closure.

Nowadays farmers markets are well established but price wars in the food industry are just as prevalent as ever. Thousands upon thousands of pounds each year are spent on trying to convince you that one or another is cheaper, better value than the other.

At the farmers’ market things are quite simple. Here are local food businesses making an honest living supplying you with quality produce direct from farm or kitchen, with no dodgy additives, no cheap imports and no dishonesty. The Swindon Designer Outlet farmers market runs every Sunday from 10-4.